Category Archives: Game Preview

Game Preview: 3/27/17 vs. FLA

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, March 25
Toronto 2 at Buffalo 5
Goals: Eichel (2), O’Reilly, Kane, Kulikov
Goalie: Lehner (32 saves/34 shots)
PP: 2/2; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 38 – Toronto 34

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 372)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 75 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 39 games
Cody Franson (undisclosed; March 20) – 3 games
Taylor Fedun (foot; March 20) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/23:
Assigned F Justin Bailey, D Brady Austin and D Casey Nelson to Rochester (AHL)
3/25: Recalled D Brady Austin from Rochester (AHL); Activated F William Carrier from IR; Assigned F Hudson Fasching to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, March 28:
Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 2: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Monday, April 3: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 5: Montreal at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 8: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PANTHERS at SABRES

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo 4-3 (SO) in Florida on Dec. 20
  • Next meeting: Saturday, April 8 in Florida
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 3-6-1 at home.
  • This is the 91st game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 47-35-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 26-16-4 at home against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 14-6-4 all-time on March 27.
  • March 27, 1990: Mike Foligno records his 500th point as a member of the Sabres in a 6-5 win at Detroit. Foligno finished his Sabres career with 511 points in 664 games.
  • March 27, 2010: Jason Pominville scores to record his 300th NHL point in a 7-1 win at home against Tampa Bay.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 7-1-1 in their last nine games against Atlantic Division opponents, including a 3-0-1 at KeyBank Center. A win or overtime loss tonight would give the team it’s best 10-game stretch against divisional opponents since the 2010-11 season.
  • Buffalo is 43-for-49 (87.8%) on the penalty kill in their last 19 games.
  • If he dresses, tonight will be Brian Gionta’s 1,000th NHL game.

TAMING THE CATS

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 14 points (5+9) in his last 12 games against the Panthers, including points in 10 of those contests and four two-point games.
  • Sam Reinhart has seven points (5+2) in his last five games against Florida, including two points in each of his last three.
  • Evander Kane has 16 points (11+5) in his last 15 games against the Panthers.
  • The Panthers are one of only six NHL teams (excluding the Sabres) that Jack Eichel has not yet recorded a goal against.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 25 games since, Eichel has totaled 32 points (11+21).
  • Tyler Ennis has three assists in his last three games.
  • Kyle Okposo recorded two assists in his return the lineup on Saturday vs. Toronto and now has 14 points (4+10) in his last 15 games played.
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 192 of 204 shots (.941) in his last six appearances.

#G1000NTA
Brian Gionta
is expected to appear in his 1,000th NHL game tonight. If he dresses, Buffalo’s captain will become the…

  • 312th NHL player (23rd active player) to play in 1,000 games.
  • 43rd American player to reach the milestone.
  • 10th player to appear in his 1,000th game as a member of the Sabres.

Gionta’s Career Breakdown
Games played for New Jersey – 473 (2001-02 to 2008-09)
Games played for Montreal –  303 (2009-10 to 2013-14)
Games played for Buffalo – 224* (2014-15 to Present)
1st NHL Game – 12/30/2001 at Edmonton (with New Jersey)
500th NHL Game – 1/14/2010 vs. Dallas (with Montreal)
1,000th NHL Game – 3/27/2017 vs. Florida* (with Buffalo)

Facts from the day of Gionta’s first NHL game (Dec. 30, 2001)
No. 1 Song:
“How You Remind Me” by Nickelback
No. 1 Album: “Weathered” by Creed
No. 1 Movie: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
Top-Selling Holiday Toy: Bratz Dolls
NFL Results: Alex Van Pelt led the Buffalo Bills to a 14-9 win over Vinny Testaverde and the New York Jets.

Other players to appear in their 1,000th NHL game as a member of the Sabres

Player Date Opponent
Dick Duff March 7, 1971 vs. Toronto
Gilbert Perreault Jan. 29, 1984 vs. Pittsburgh
Craig Ramsay Oct. 28, 1984 vs Calgary
Don Lever Jan. 27, 1986 at Montreal
Phil Russell March 12, 1986 at Chicago
Dale Hawerchuk Feb. 4, 1995 at Florida
Charlie Huddy March 8, 1996 at Anaheim
James Patrick Dec. 4, 1999 vs. NY Rangers
Mike Grier Nov. 3, 2010 vs. Boston

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 17th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will continue tomorrow night at Columbus. The Sabres are 7-6-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-9-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (7), one point (2) and zero points (3).

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 27 points (9+18) in his last 24 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 32 points (13+19) in 27 home games this season, including 10 multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has 11 points (8+3) in his last 10 home games.
  • Kyle Okposo has 13 points (5+8) in his last 13 home games, including two points in each of his last three.

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for sixth among all NHL skaters with 53 points (23+30) and leads the league with 220 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 38 points (15+23) in his last 33 games, including 11 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 13-2-0 this season (and 22-5-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .98 points per game rank him ninth among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

*All rankings before 3/26 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 26 goals this season in his last 51 games.
  • Kane is tied for 11th in the NHL with 23 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane ranks sixth among all NHL skaters in goals (26) and leads the league in even-strength goals (23).

*All rankings before 3/26 games.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.43 (35)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.56 (46)

.38 (31)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.98 (80)

.62 (51)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (334)

2.3 (190)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 24.5% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the 13th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/26 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.5% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 266 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 3.6 S/GP (7th)
  • Lehner: .922 SV% (9th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-8th)
  • Nilsson: .930 EV SV% (9th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:37 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.8 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (T-2nd), 26:42 TOI (5th), 156 BkS (7th), 25 PPP (T-8th), 39 A (T-6th, defensemen)

BUF-FLA Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Mark Pysyk was taken by the Sabres in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. In 125 games over four seasons, Pysyk recorded 26 points (5+21).

Former Panthers:

  • Dmitry Kulikov played seven seasons in Florida before coming to Buffalo in a trade on June 25, 2016. Drafted in the first round (14th overall) by Florida in 2009, Kulikov was the second-ranked defenseman in goals (28), assists (110) and points (138) in 460 games for the Panthers from 2009 to 2016.

Jack Eichel:

  • Was named to Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey along with Aaron Ekblad and Vincent Trochek.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Played at the 2015 World Championship with Aaron Ekblad on Team Canada.
  • Shares a birthplace of Edmonton, Alberta with Alex Petrovic.

Zemgus Girgensons:

  • Spent the 2011-12 season playing with Michael Matheson for the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL).

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada alongside James Reimer at the 2011 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Vincent Trochek at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Keith Yandle at the 2010 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He and Aaron Ekblad share a birthdate. O’Reilly was born on Feb. 7, 1991, and Ekblad was born on Feb. 7, 1996. The two also played together for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.
  • Played alongside Michael Matheson when Team Canada participated in the 2016 World Championships.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with Aleksander Barkov and Jussi Jokinen. He and Aleksander Barkov were also teammates at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Nicolas Deslauriers (84th overall) and Reilly Smith (69th overall) were both taken in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Alexander Barkov (2nd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Aaron Ekblad (1st overall) were the top two picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (266), Ristolainen (186), Gorges (133)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (108), Gorges (100)
Shots: Kane (229), Eichel (220), Ristolainen (177)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 3-2-0 (6), 10/9, 4/8, 12/13

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Brian Gionta … 1 game … 1,000 NHL games
Kyle Okposo … 7 games … 600 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 3 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Dmitry Kulikov … 500th NHL game … 3/25 vs. TOR

Game Preview: 3/25/17 vs. TOR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 21
Pittsburgh 3 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Reinhart
Goalie: Lehner (31 saves/34 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 3/4; Shots: Pittsburgh 34 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 368)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 74 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 38 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4) – 24 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 10 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 9 games
Justin Falk (calf, March 16) – 4 games
Cody Franson (undisclosed; March 20) – 2 games
Taylor Fedun (foot; March 20) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/20:
Recalled D Brady Austin and D Casey Nelson from Rochester (AHL)
3/23: Assigned F Justin Bailey, D Brady Austin and D Casey Nelson to Rochester (AHL)
3/25: Recalled D Brady Austin from Rochester (AHL); Activated F William Carrier from IR; Assigned F Hudson Fasching to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, March 27:
Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 2: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Monday, April 3: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 5: Montreal at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth of five meetings between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Toronto 3-1 in Toronto on Feb. 11
  • Next meeting: Monday, April 3 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 8-1-1 at home.
  • This is the 205th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 112-66-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 68-26-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-8-3 all-time on March 25.
  • March 25, 1992: Donald Audette scores twice in 14 seconds as the Sabres improve to 30-16-2 against the Maple Leafs at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. The team would finish with a 32-16-3 record against Toronto at the Aud.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Buffalo chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has selected Brian Gionta as the Sabres’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
  • Evander Kane has eight points (6+2) in his last eight games against Toronto.
  • Jack Eichel has five points (1+4) in five career games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled three points (1+2) in three games against Toronto this season.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 24 games since, Eichel has totaled 29 points (9+20).
  • Jake McCabe has recorded eight (2+6) of his 19 points in his last 13 games, averaging 21:36 of ice time per game during that stretch.
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 160 of 170 shots (.941) in his last five appearances.

HOME SWEET HOME

  • The home team has won 23 of the last 28 games between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs.
  • The Sabres are 17-2-1 in their last 20 home games against the Maple Leafs. Toronto’s win in Buffalo on Nov. 3, 2016 snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Sabres that lasted 1,373 days.
  • Each team has won its last road game the series, marking the first time the Sabres and Maple Leafs have won in each other’s arenas in the same season since 2012-13.
  • The Maple Leafs haven’t won consecutive games in Buffalo since March 21 and Dec. 12, 2008.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 25 points (8+17) in his last 23 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 29 points (11+18) in 26 home games this season, including nine multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has 10 points (7+3) in his last nine home games.

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for 10th among all NHL skaters with 50 points (21+29) and leads the league with 216 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 35 points (13+22) in his last 32 games, including 10 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 12-2-0 this season (and 21-5-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .94 points per game rank him 12th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

*All rankings before 3/24 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 25 goals this season in his last 50 games.
  • Kane is tied for 13th in the NHL with 22 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for sixth among all NHL skaters in goals (25) and leads the league in even-strength goals (22).

*All rankings before 3/24 games.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.40 (32)

.24 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.55 (45)

.38 (31)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.94 (77)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (334)

2.4 (192)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank second in the league with a 23.9% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the fourth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 24.4% mark in 1979-80. It would be the 21st-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/24 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.9% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 264 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 3.6 S/GP (8th)
  • Lehner: .921 SV% (8th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-7th)
  • Nilsson: .920 SV% (10th), .930 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:39 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (2nd), 26:42 TOI (5th), 156 BkS (7th), 25 PPP (T-8th), 39 A (6th, defensemen)

BUF-TOR Connections
Jack Eichel:

  • Represented team North America alongside Auston Matthews at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The two also played together for the United States National Team Development Program in 2013-14.
  • Played for the United States alongside Connor Carrick at the 2014 World Junior Championship. The two also played together for the United States National TeamDevelopment Program from 2010-2012.
  • Teammates with Jake Gardiner for Team USA at the 2015 World Championship.

Hudson Fasching:

  • Represented the United States alongside Auston Matthews at the 2016 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Connor Carrick for Team USA at the 2014 World Junior Championship and for the United States National Team Development Program in 2011-12.

Evander Kane

  • Shares a hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia with Morgan Rielly.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played alongside Connor Carrick for the United States National Team Development Program in 2010-11.
  • Represented the United States alongside Jake Gardiner at the 2014 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2009-2013.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2011-12 and then again in 2013-14.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played alongside Matt Hunwick for the Colorado Avalanche from 2010-2014.
  • Represented Canada with Morgan Rielly at the 2016 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2009-2016.
  • Represented the United States with James van Riemsdyk at the 2007 and 2008 World Junior Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada with Morgan Rielly at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Leo Komarov at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

NHL Draft

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall), Jake Gardiner (17th overall) and Tyler Ennis (26th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Nazem Kadri (7th overall) and Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Morgan Rielly (5th overall) and Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and William Nylander (8th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Mitchell Marner (4th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (264), Ristolainen (186), Gorges (131)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (105), Gorges (100)
Shots: Kane (221), Eichel (216), Ristolainen (177)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 2-2-0 (4), 5/7, 2/6, 9/10

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Dmitry Kulikov … 1 game … 500 NHL games
Brian Gionta … 2 games … 1,000 NHL games
Kyle Okposo … 8 games … 600 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 4 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Brady Austin … 1st NHL game … 3/20 at DET

Game Preview: 3/21/17 vs. PIT

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, March 20
Buffalo 2 at Detroit 1
Goals: Eichel, Moulson
Goalie: Lehner (34 saves/35 shots)
PP: 2/2; PK: 4/4; Shots: Detroit 35 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 360)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 73 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 37 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 23 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 9 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 8 games
Justin Falk (calf, March 16) – 3 gamesCody Franson (undisclosed) – 1 game
Taylor Fedun (foot) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/16:
Recalled D Taylor Fedun from Rochester (AHL)
3/20: Recalled D Brady Austin and D Casey Nelson from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, March 25:
Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 27: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 2: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Monday, April 3: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PENGUINS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 4-3 in Pittsburgh on March 5
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 2-8-0 at home
  • This is the 185th game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 65-77-42 series record.
  • The Sabres are 41-28-22 at home against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-9-0 all-time on March 21.
  • March 21, 1971: Eddie Shack picks up his second hat trick in as many months as the Sabres defeat the Bruins by a score of 7-5 in Boston. Shack scored two of the goals only 2:22 apart and all three were scored in a span of 15:58.
  • March 21, 1976: The Sabres hold the Kansas City Scouts to eight total shots, including zero in the third period, in a 3-1 win.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have won the season series against the Penguins for the first time since going 2-1-0 against Pittsburgh in 2012-13.
  • A win would also give the Sabres wins in consecutive home matchups with the Penguins for the first time since Buffalo won four in a row from March 26, 2004 to Nov. 17, 2006.
  • Evander Kane has totaled 16 points (5+11) in 16 games against Pittsburgh since the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
  • Zach Bogosian has seven points (3+4) in his seven games against the Penguins since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Matt Moulson has four points (2+2) in five games against the Penguins in the last two seasons.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has points in each of his last four games against Pittsburgh, having tallied six points (2+4) in those games.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 23 games since, Eichel has totaled 29 points (9+20).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded 10 points (4+6) in his last 11 games.
  • Jake McCabe has recorded eight (2+6) of his 19 points in his last 12 games, averaging 21:24 of ice time per game during that stretch.
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 129 of 136 shots (.949) in his last four appearances.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 16th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 2-1 win last night at Detroit. The Sabres are 7-6-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-8-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (6), one point (2) and zero points (3).

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 25 points (8+17) in his last 22 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 29 points (11+18) in 25 home games this season, including nine multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has 10 points (7+3) in his last eight home games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 13 of his last 16 home games (1+13) and hasn’t gone two home games without a point since Dec. 29 and Jan. 7

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for eighth among all NHL skaters with 50 points (21+29) and leads the league with 207 shots on goal.
  • Eichel is tied for the league lead in assists (20) and ranks second in points (29) since the beginning of February.
  • Eichel has logged 35 points (13+22) in his last 31 games, including 10 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 12-2-0 this season (and 21-5-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .96 points per game rank him 11th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

*All rankings as of the conclusion of last night’s game.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 25 goals this season in his last 49 games.
  • Kane is tied for 11th in the NHL with 22 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for fourth among all NHL skaters in goals (25), leads the league in even-strength goals (22) and ranks second in shots on goal (194).

*All rankings as of the conclusion of last night’s game.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.40 (33)

.23 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.56 (46)

.38 (31)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.96 (79)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (326)

2.3 (191)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 24.0% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the fourth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 24.4% mark in 1979-80. It would be the 20th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished last night’s game tied for 21st among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.3 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 21 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.0% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 261 hits (2nd)
  • Kane: 3.6 S/GP (8th)
  • Lehner: .922 SV% (8th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-7th)
  • Nilsson: .930 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (1st), 27:02 TOI (4th), 156 BkS (7th), 25 PPP (8th), 39 A (6th, defensemen)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (261), Ristolainen (185), Gorges (131)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (103), Gorges (99)
Shots: Kane (219), Eichel (207), Ristolainen (176)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 2-1-0 (4), 4/4, 2/5, 6/6

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Dmitry Kulikov … 1 game … 500 NHL games
Brian Gionta … 3 games … 1,000 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 4 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Brady Austin … 1st NHL game … 3/20 at DET

Game Preview: 3/20/17 at DET

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, March 17
Buffalo 2 at Anaheim 1 (SO)
Goals: O’Reilly; GDG- Girgensons
Goalie: Nilsson (39 saves/40 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 0/0; Shots: Anaheim 40 – Buffalo 31

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 352)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 72 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 36 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 22 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 8 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 7 games
Justin Falk (calf, March 16) – 2 games
Cody Franson (undisclosed) – 0 games
Taylor Fedun (foot) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/16:
Recalled D Taylor Fedun from Rochester (AHL)
3/20: Recalled D Brady Austin and D Casey Nelson from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, March 21:
Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 25: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 27: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 2: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 3 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RED WINGS

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Red Wings and Sabres this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Detroit 3-2 (OT) in Buffalo on Jan. 20
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 2-6-2 on the road
  • This is the 132nd game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 57-57-18 series record.
  • The Sabres are 21-38-8 on the road against the Red Wings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-9-1 all-time on March 20.
  • March 20, 1977: The Sabres get goals from five different players, including two from Gilbert Perreault, as they defeat the Washington Capitals 6-2 on the road.
  • March 20, 1996: The Sabres acquire Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, a second-round pick (Cory Sarich) and a third-round pick (Maxim Afinogenov) from St. Louis in exchange for Yuri Khmylev and an eighth-round pick (Andrei Podkonicky).

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with consecutive wins against Detroit for the first time since March 6, 1994 and Nov. 1, 1995. With a win tonight, the Sabres would have three straight wins against the Red Wings for the first time since the team swept the three-game season series in 1988-89.
  • A win tonight would give the Sabres consecutive wins in Detroit for the first time since they won each of their first five games at Joe Louis Arena, from Feb. 16, 1980 to Dec. 12, 1981.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has eight assists in his last eight games against Detroit, including six in his last four at Joe Louis Arena.
  • Sam Reinhart has five points (4+1) in seven career games against the Red Wings, including a point in each of the last three games in Detroit (2+1).
  • Jack Eichel has six points (3+3) in seven career games against Detroit, including three two-point outputs.
  • Robin Lehner has a .946 save percentage and a 1.96 goals-against average in three games against the Red Wings since joining the Sabres.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 11 points (2+9) in 13 career road games against the Red Wings, including five (1+4) in his last five.
  • Evander Kane (4+0) and Brian Gionta (0+4) each have four points in four games at Joe Louis Arena since joining the Sabres.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 22 games since, Eichel has totaled 28 points (8+20).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded nine points (4+5) in his last 10 games.
  • Jake McCabe has recorded seven (2+5) of his 18 points in his last 11 games, averaging 21:31 of ice time per game during that stretch.
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 95 of 101 shots (.941) in his last three appearances.

SO LONG, JOE

  • Tonight’s game will be the Sabres’ final visit to Joe Louis Arena.
  • Since Joe Louis Arena opened in December 1979, the Sabres and Red Wings have played 42 times in the building. The Sabres have a 13-23-6 record in those games.
  • Gilbert Perreault is the Sabres’ all-time leading scorer at Joe Louis Arena with 14 points (8+6) in 10 games. With a point tonight, Rasmus Ristolainen would tie Danny Gare and Pierre Turgeon for fifth on the franchise list with seven points.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 16th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will continue tomorrow night vs. Pittsburgh. The Sabres are 6-6-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-8-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (6), one point (2) and zero points (3).

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel ranks ninth among all NHL skaters with 49 points (20+29) and leads the league with 204 shots on goal.
  • Eichel leads the league in assists (20) and is tied for the league-lead in points (28) since the beginning of February.
  • Eichel has logged 34 points (12+22) in his last 30 games, including 10 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 12-2-0 this season (and 21-5-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .96 points per game rank him 11th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

*All rankings before 3/19 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 25 goals this season in his last 48 games.
  • Kane is tied for 11th in the NHL with 22 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for fourth among all NHL skaters in goals (25), leads the league in even-strength goals (22) and ranks second in shots on goal (191).
  • Kane’s current pace of .367 even-strength goals per game is the highest by any Sabre with at least 15 games played since Alexander Mogilny’s franchise-best mark in 1992-93 (.636).

*All rankings before 3/19 games.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.39 (32)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.57 (47)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.96 (79)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (328)

2.3 (190)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank second in the league with a 23.3% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the fifth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 38th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
is tied for 25th among all NHL skaters with 38 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.0 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 18 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/19 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.3% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 254 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 3.6 S/GP (8th)
  • Nilsson: .930 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:39 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 23 PPA (T-1st), 27:01 TOI (4th), 154 BkS (7th), 24 PPP (T-8th), 38 A (6th, defensemen)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (254), Ristolainen (184), Gorges (129)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (154), McCabe (102), Gorges (96)
Shots: Kane (216), Eichel (204), Ristolainen (173)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 1-1-0 (2), 2/3, 0/3, 2/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Dmitry Kulikov … 1 game … 500 NHL games
Brian Gionta … 4 games … 1,000 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 4 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Game Preview: 3/17/17 at ANA

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 16
Buffalo 0 at Los Angeles 2
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Lehner (34 saves/36 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Los Angeles 36 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 346)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 71 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 35 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 21 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 7 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 6 games
Justin Falk (calf, March 16) – 1 game
Justin Bailey (undisclosed, March 16) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/13:
Recalled F Hudson Fasching from Rochester (AHL)
3/16: Recalled D Taylor Fedun from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, March 20:
Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 21: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 25: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 27: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at DUCKS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Ducks this season.
  • Last meeting: Anaheim defeated Buffalo 5-2 in Buffalo on Feb. 7
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Ducks; 4-6-0 on the road
  • This is the 34th game all-time between Buffalo and Anaheim; Buffalo has a 16-14-3 series record.
  • The Sabres are 8-8-0 on the road against the Ducks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-10-3 all-time on March 17.
  • March 17, 1997: Donald Audette scores twice and Rob Ray fights Jeff Odgers to become the 30th player in NHL history to record 2,000 penalty minutes in his career during a 5-1 win at home against Boston.
  • March 17, 2001: Martin Biron makes 42 saves and Chris Gratton scores the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win at Washington.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 21 games since, Eichel has totaled 27 points (8+19).
  • Evander Kane has 22 points (13+9) in his last 25 games, including 11 goals in his last 17.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 14 of his last 21 games (2+13).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded eight points (3+7) in his last nine games.
  • Matt Moulson has a point in four of his last six games (1+3).
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 95 of 101 shots (.941) in his last three appearances.

SHUTTING OUT THE DUCKS

  • The Sabres have shut out the Ducks seven times in the 33 all-time games between the clubs (Dominik Hasek-3, Martin Biron-2, Chad Johnson-1, Ryan Miller-1). This amounts to one shutout for every 4.71 meetings, the Sabres’ highest shutout-to-games ratio against any NHL team.
  • This ratio is so much higher against the Ducks than the next closest opponent that the Ducks would have to score a goal in each of the next 26 meetings between the teams for the ratio to fall behind the next highest current ratio (Columbus, three shutouts in 25 games – 8.33 games per shutout).
  • The Sabres’ last shutout against the Ducks occurred three meetings ago (Dec. 17, 2015 in Buffalo).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 15th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, after the team’s 2-0 loss last night at Los Angeles. The Sabres are 6-6-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-8-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (5), one point (2) and zero points (3).

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel ranks ninth among all NHL skaters with 48 points (20+28) and leads the league with 199 shots on goal.
  • Eichel leads the league in assists (19) and ranks third in points (27) since the beginning of February.
  • Eichel has logged 33 points (12+21) in his last 29 games, including 10 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 12-2-0 this season (and 21-5-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .96 points per game rank him 12th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 25 goals this season in his last 47 games.
  • Kane is tied for 10th in the NHL with 22 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane ranks fourth among all NHL skaters in goals (25), leads the league in even-strength goals (22) and is tied for second in shots on goal (187).
  • Kane’s current pace of .373 even-strength goals per game is the highest by any Sabre with at least 15 games played since Alexander Mogilny’s franchise-best mark in 1992-93 (.636).

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.40 (33)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.56 (46)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.96 (79)

.62 (51)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (326)

2.3 (191)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank second in the league with a 23.4% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the fifth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 34th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
is tied for 23rd among all NHL skaters with 38 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.1 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next 19 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.4% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 252 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 22 EVG (T-10th), 3.6 S/GP (8th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:38 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.8 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 23 PPA (T-1st), 26:59 TOI (4th), 154 BkS (7th), 24 PPP (T-8th), 38 A (6th, defensemen)

BUF-ANA Connections
Former Ducks:

  • Dan Bylsma played for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 2000 to 2004. He had 32 points (10+22) in 209 games and was a member of the team that won the Western Conference after the 2002-03 season. Bylsma also began his coaching career during the 2004-05 season as an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.

Justin Bailey:

  • He and John Gibson were teammates for the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) during the 2012-13 season.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with John Gibson for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Cody Franson:

  • Represented Team Canada alongside Andrew Cogliano at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Korbinian Holzer for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons. He and Jonathan Bernier were teammates for the Maple Leafs from 2013-2015.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Ryan Getzlaf for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada alongside Jonathan Bernier at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Played with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship. Kane and Perry were also on the 2010 World Championship squad,
  • He and Antoine Vermette were teammates for Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played with Jakob Silfverberg for the Ottawa Senators during the 2012-13 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with John Gibson for the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Teammates with Jonathan Bernier for the Los Angeles Kings for part of the 2007-08 season.
  • Played with Nate Thompson for the New York Islanders from 2008-2010.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Jakob Silfverberg at the 2010 World Junior Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Nate Thompson for the New York Islanders from 2008-2010 and for Team USA at the 2012 World Championship. Cam Fowler was also on the 2012 World Championship squad, as was John Gibson.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship. They were also teammates for Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Perry and O’Reilly also represented Canada at the 2016 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Nick Ritchie for Team Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Corey Perry for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Sami Vatanen at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

NHL Draft:

  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Jakob Silfverberg (39th overall) were second-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Marcus Foligno (104th overall) and Sami Vatanen (106th overall) were both fourth-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Hampus Lindholm (6th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Nick Ritchie (10th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (252), Ristolainen (180), Gorges (127)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (154), McCabe (100), Gorges (95)
Shots: Kane (212), Eichel (199), Ristolainen (171)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 0-1-0 (0), 0/2, 0/2, 2/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-6; 68-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Dmitry Kulikov … 1 game … 500 NHL games
Brian Gionta … 5 games … 1,000 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 4 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A